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1.19.2006    |    Federalism trumps life?
Among those who have an inalienable right to life are the elderly, the infirm, and the terminally ill. Since our very life is a gift from God, it is not ours to dispose of, without good and sufficient cause. Therein lies the crux of the debate: what, exactly, constitutes "good and sufficient?" Whatever else it may mean, it surely can't mean that a physician, or anyone else, should be able to intentionally kill a patient.

The recent Supreme Court decision (typical story here) was hailed by the Gray Lady as a victory for federalism. Which might come as a surprise to those who regularly read the New York Times and note that it's never shy about the federales trumping the states when it comes to liberal causes near and dear to the Timesmen's black, shriveled hearts. From the Times editorial, here's a bit of the flavor:
The Supreme Court smacked former Attorney General John Ashcroft and the Bush administration when it ruled 6 to 3 that the Justice Department had gone beyond its authority in trying to undermine an assisted-suicide law in Oregon.
You've gotta love it: "smacked" John Ashcroft, who used to be the left's favorite Bible-thumping troglodyte. It is clear that their hatred of John Ashcroft and George Bush counts for at least as much as any newly-found fidelity to Constitutional principles.

They do have half a point, however. It is not usually a good thing for the Federal government to attempt to overturn what the constitutionally sovereign people of the individual states enact. In this case, however, Oregon enacted a law that denies the sanctity of life to a certain class of people deemed to be a burden.

But, the liberal might say, "what if someone is in such dire pain and that they truly want to die?" This is never an easy question, and those who glibly ignore it ignore reality. But the answer can not be to allow a physician, whose oath requires them to do no harm as a first principle, kill a person.

As a God-fearing man, I believe that suicide is an offense against the Almighty, a slap in His face. Take your stinking life; it's no good to me any more. I don't want it.

Those who do take their own lives are to be pitied, and, for extreme cases, perhaps forgiven by God. But there can be no forgiveness for those who kill in some mistaken belief that they are better arbiters of what constitutes a meaningful life than is God.

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Blogger JCHFleetguy said...

While this:

In this case, however, Oregon enacted a law that denies the sanctity of life to a certain class of people deemed to be a burden.

is indeed the crux of what will be the problem - it requires a person to jump through a number of hoops to "prove" that they are of sound mind, know what they are choosing, and are not being cooerced.

Of course, someone could believe they were being a burden and that those around them would rather see them gone - and then lie their way to get the help from a physicians and psychologists who have to sign off. That will, indeed, probably happen.

However, I still think your characterization of the law is over-the-top. It makes it sound as if the state, or the physician, can so "deem" - which of course is not true.

11:13 PM, January 30, 2006  

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About this site and the author

Welcome. My name is John Luke Rich, (very) struggling Christian. The focus here is Christianity in its many varieties, its fussing and feuding, how it impacts our lives and our society, with detours to consider it with other faiths (or lack thereof).

Call this blog my way of evangelizing on the internet.

Putting it differently, we're only here on this earth a short time. It's the rest of eternity that we should be most concerned about. Call it the care and feeding of our souls.

I was born Jewish, and born again in Christ Jesus over thirty years ago. First as a Roman Catholic; now a Calvinist by persuasion and a Baptist by denomination. But I'm hardly a poster boy for doctrinal rigidity.

I believe that Scripture is the rock on which all Christian churches must stand -- or sink if they are not so grounded. I believe that we are saved by faith, but hardly in a vacuum. That faith is a gift from God, through no agency on our part -- although we sometimes turn a deaf ear and choose to ignore God's knocking on the door.

To be Christian is to evangelize. Those who think it not their part to evangelize perhaps haven't truly understood what our Lord told us in Matthew 28. We must preach the Gospel as best we are able. Using words if necessary.

Though my faith waxes and wanes, it never seems to go away. Sometimes I wish it would, to give me some peace of mind. But then, Jesus never said that walking with Him was going to be easy...

Final note: I also blog as Jack Rich on cultural, political and other things over at Wrong Side of the Tracks

Thanks for stopping by.